Even as anti-nuclear activists’ protests over the ongoing tests at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) is yet to die down, the plant authorities on Monday sought to allay their fears, saying only steam valves were being tested and it would not cause any harm to environment or public.

KNPPP Site Director R S Sundar said only the steam relief valves on the steam lines of the first unit, slated for commissioning next month, were being tested and only steam (water vapour) was released.

“No tests are being conducted at KKNPP which are harmful to the environment and public”, he said in a release adding all the works were taken up with “utmost safety” of public and environment.

Claiming that the tests resulted in ‘intolerable’ noise and smoke affecting people in the area, People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the over 500-day protest against the Indo-Russian project on safety concerns, has called for a siege of the KNPP township in Chettikulam, about 10 km from the plant site, on April 3.

Mr. Sundar said the tests were conducted only during day time and only water vapour was released as part of the test.

He said during the period of testing, about 325 school children and 90 people from the neighbouring villages were taken inside the KNPPP as part of a public awareness programme.

Mr. Sundar later said the tests, which commenced on Sunday, would go on for four more days.

The 1000 mw first unit of the project, which has missed several deadlines, is expected to be commissioned this month.

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